Commonwealth Journal

Local News

December 11, 2012

It’s official: West Columbia Street railroad crossing will close

Somerset —  

The West Columbia Street railroad crossing — a popular but hazardous shortcut for motorists in the downtown Somerset area — will officially be closed in early 2013. 
“That crossing down there is probably one of the most used crossings in the city,” said Somerset City Councilor Jerry Wheeldon, whose district includes the area around the crossing.
A resolution to close the crossing to all vehicle traffic by around February 15, 2013 was passed in a 11-1 vote during Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting.
City officials were approached by officials with Norfolk Southern Railroad and the Kentucky Department of Transportation in the fall about the possible dangers of the West Columbia crossing. Those officials said the sheer number of tractor trailer trucks that become hung up on the crossing — due to the steep grade of the crossing — poses a serious safety issue. A collision between a train and a large truck could lead to a derailment. 
A tractor trailer reportedly got stuck over the crossing on Friday. Norfolk Southern officials have said as many as 50 to 60 trains travel through the West Columbia crossing daily. 
Those sentiments were brought up again just a few weeks ago after an October train derailment in Jefferson County led to the evacuation of a residential area located within a one-mile radius of the derailment site.
During Monday’s meeting, Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler said a derailment could lead to an evacuation of businesses located along U.S. 27 — and even Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. 
“In our case, because of its proximity to U.S. 27 and the hospital, it presents a special problem,”  Girdler said on Monday. 
The crossing is considered one of the most dangerous on Norfolk Southern’s 20,000-mile railway system, and Girdler emphasized that during Monday’s meeting. 
City Councilor Mark Beasley, who attended his last city council meeting as a councilor on Monday, asked that the city include in the resolution that the crossing stay open to pedestrian traffic, and that the resolution contain a clause stating the city can revisit the crossing in the future if other solutions besides closing it down become available. 

Text Only
Local News
  • Mayor Girdler.jpg Bill puts freeze on occupational tax funds

    An addition to the late-passed Kentucky Transportation Cabinet budget contains an Easter egg of sorts that could have a substantial impact on Pulaski County — although Somerset’s mayor is downplaying it.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brenzel and LCRH sign cmyk.jpg Brenzel steps down as LCRH CEO

    Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) has announced that CEO Mark Brenzel has decided to step down from the top leadership position.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • recycling.ht.jpg Science Hill elementary students promote recycling

    For one group of Science Hill Independent students, taking out the trash isn’t something they avoid.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • carrie dixon-wiese.jpg Local housing facility subject of $349,000 lawsuit

    A local housing facility is the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. Eastern District Court, with several major entities named as defendants — though the Somerset city attorney notes that’s actually more for their protection.
    The defendants listed included the City of Somerset, Somerset Independent Board of Education, and Pulaski County government, as well as the company Somerset East Mt. Vernon Associates, Ltd.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Last rescue adopted pic.jpg Last of dogs rescued from Nancy kennel is adopted

    The last of 27 dogs housed at a Louisville animal rescue center after they were taken from a western Pulaski County puppy mill in a January raid has found a permanent home.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski gets small share of road money

    Some $200 million worth of road-building projects in Pulaski County during the past decade likely is the reason this county got only a tiny share in the two-year road plan hammered out by the General Assembly during the session that adjourned late Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • LaDonna Hurd.jpg Local firefighter dies from injuries suffered in fall at skating rink

    The community’s move to rally around a local volunteer firefighter, nurse, and single mother injured while roller skating has taken on a more tragic note.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAKE-FISHING FOTO.JPG Rising lake levels are improving area fishing conditions

    The rising level of Lake Cumberland is covering banks that have been bare for seven years and increasing habitat for game fish such as bass, bluegill and crappie.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebenstein, Jacob.jpg Local man receives 12 1/2 years in DUI death of teen

    An entire courtroom on Thursday was moved to tears by parents who spoke of the loss of their 19-year-old son during a sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty in his death.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • City agencies dealing with gas leak

    From the Somerset Police Department:

    If you use East University Drive between KY 1247 and KY 39 or live in the area, your drive may be affected by a gas pipeline leak.

     

    April 17, 2014

News Live
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks